LA JOLLA, Calif. -
A well-struck shot from 25 yards into the upper corner by Apryl Whitney with just over three minutes remaining in regulation sent No. 12 UC San Diego to a 1-0 loss against No. 20 Cal State Stanislaus in California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) women's soccer action at Triton Soccer Field on Friday.
With the result, UCSD dropped to 10-2-2 overall and 8-2-2 in the CCAA. Cal State Stanislaus moved its mark to 13-2 overall and 9-2 in conference play. The Tritons had won three straight coming in, and now have suffered both of their two defeats at home this season by the same scoreline. The visiting Warriors had seen their 10-match win streak snapped in their previous outing on Oct. 14.
"This is the kind of game, at home, there's no way we should have lost that game," said UCSD head coach Brian McManus. "We've got to be a lot more physical. We have to be a physical presence on the park. (Cal State Stanislaus) were physical all night. They won way too many 50-50 balls that we should have won. We still had enough chances in the box to finish the game, but we have to be brave in the box."
Despite the result, UCSD maintains a firm grip on the CCAA South Division lead with three matches left to play, and can still clinch at least a share of an 11th South title and 13th straight CCAA Championship berth with a win Sunday. The only team ahead of the Tritons in the season's first NCAA West Region rankings, North leader Sonoma State, also suffered a 1-0 setback Friday, at Cal State Dominguez Hills.
Whitney's right-footed rocket into the top right corner of freshman goalkeeper Kelcie Brodsky's goal came at 86:41. It was her second goal of the season, with fellow junior Emily Relles gaining credit for her league-best 11th assist.
The first shot of the afternoon was generated by the visitors, as sophomore forward Katelyn Nebesnick hit a low, skipping left-footed shot from the left diagonal that Brodsky could only save to a corner kick in the sixth minute.
Moments later, a right-sided cross found Nebesnick for a point-blank header that Brodsky again expertly parried away, with a follow-up effort being turned away by a defender. Brodsky saved three Nebesnick attempts over the first 12 minutes alone.
On the other side of the field, sophomore Triton forward Izzy Pozurama, the reigning CCAA Player of the Week, was unable to direct her close-range shot on target after considerable work by senior winger Jessica Wi in the 13th minute.
Wi almost opened the scoring herself midway through the period, her shot dipping narrowly over the crossbar.
Following the intermission, Gabi Hernandez used her head to lay down a pinpoint long ball by fellow senior tri-captain Hayley Johnson onto the path of Laura Gordon, but the senior UCSD forward's shot went wide to the left in the 68th.
Brodsky finished with four saves in the UCSD net. Senior Millie Brown needed six stops for her eighth shutout for Cal State Stanislaus.
The Tritons outshot the Warriors, 12-11, though Nebesnick recorded game highs of five shots with three of them on goal. UCSD's back line largely handled Cal State Stanislaus' All-American junior forward Karenee Demery, the CCAA's leading scorer.
UCSD is in home action one final time for the 2012 regular season this Sunday, Oct. 21, on Senior Day at Triton Soccer Field. The Tritons play host to Chico State at approximately 11:30 a.m. following a pregame ceremony honoring 10 seniors.
-- UCSDtritons.com --